Fashion show raises funds for charity
The Livingston Student Center was packed last night for the annual “Breast Cancer Pink Fashion Show” sponsored by King Bee Media and fashionSTYLE Magazine.
The fashion show featured celebrity designers such as Sean Jean, local designers such as Indo-Western inspired Mitan Ghosh and professional and first-time models from the University.
At the open casting call at the Livingston Student Center on March 30, producers Lamont and Jeana Bowling encouraged passersby to audition for the show, Lamont Bowling said.
Lamont Bowling said he chose the University to host the fashion show because he loved the University and its community environment.
He also wanted a lot of student involvement for the event, he said, because he believed that would be the best way to get the event publicized.
“We encourage student involvement and we want the Rutgers community to buy into the event, and we think by having the students come to the event, it will make the event that much successful,” Lamont Bowling said.
The Pink Fashion show began three years ago as a spin-off of the Atlantic City Fashion Week, he said.
After doing the fashion shows in Atlantic City, Lamont Bowling said he and his wife wanted to do something to give back. He chose to focus on breast cancer because the disease runs through his family and his wife’s family, and the couple knew many people who had the disease.
Taylor Telesford, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student, said her friend encouraged her to try out. To Telesford’s surprise, she was chosen over other professional models.
“I was shocked and honored at the same time because I’ve never really practiced walking except for in my room, in my mirror, like most girls do,” Telesford said.
Another model, Ebun Adenekan, said he decided to randomly audition along with Telesford after he saw how much fun she was having.
“I always thought I was good-looking, so I just wanted other people to know it too, but really I just thought why not take the chance? It can’t hurt. In the end, it was worth the risk,” said Adenekan, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student.
Adenekan said he and Telesford modeled Intellect Clothing, an up-and-coming brand based in Brooklyn.
The day was long and tedious for Telesford as she went through outfit fittings, run throughs, and hair and make-up, she said.
“It’s harder for girls who aren’t all the same exact size,” Telesford said. “I also had to make sure I could walk down the runway in heels without falling on my face. People don’t realize it, but modeling is a sport.”
Jovan Oliver, a School of Arts and Sciences first-year student, said he modeled for DTLR, a celebrity designer that creates unique urban-inspired designs for the lifestyle of today’s youth.
Oliver said he did multiple run-throughs on the runway to make sure his outfit fit properly and his hair and expressions were perfect.
“My goal is just to do what I’ve been practicing and not make any mistakes. … I’m nervous. It’s my first show,” Oliver said.
The main event began with designer DTLR, which boasts clients such as Lil Wayne, Pharrell and Jim Jones, Bowling said. To support the brand, Jim Jones’ mother was also in attendance of the event.
In the theme of the event, many of the models had family members and friends who were afflicted by breast cancer and walked in the fashion show as a way to honor their past. Antoine Peay, a professional model, said her mother and grandmother died of breast cancer.
“I sometimes think about them when I model events like this,” Peay said. “It’s been a while, and as time goes on, the pain heals, but I always keep them in my heart.”
The fashion show started with an introduction and some testimonials from breast cancer survivors, who talked about the struggles of living with the disease, but highlighted the hope and the friendship that kept them going.
While the event raised more than $3,000 to various breast cancer charities, not all the effects of the fashion show were tangible.
“I gained a lot of experience and confidence too,” Telesford said. “This whole experience has just been totally mind-blowing and I loved every part of it. I definitely want to do this again.”